So since I've been out here in California, I've been noticing that the squirrels out here act differently than the creepy ones at Purdue--at least the ones on the grounds of the Huntington Library, Museum, and Botanical Gardens, where I've been given the privilege of reading a select number of rare manuscripts for a few days. Seriously, I've never seen squirrels acting with this much confidence before. These squirrels are awesome.
The thing is, I'm convinced it's their environment. See, the grounds of the Huntington mix together a whole range of different kinds of these amazing environments for these squirrels to play in. They can go hang out in the desert for awhile, then go play in the jungle garden before hopping over to the Australian outback...
I'm pretty sure that, surrounded by all these big, fancy plants with very few other animals around, they've convinced themselves they're really lions, tigers, monkeys, and/or kangaroos in squirrel bodies.
Yup, that's right, folks. I'm feeling a Wizard-of-Oz-like story coming on... ("If the squirrels were king of the forest...")
(I may possibly be a little giddy from spending a day outside in the beautiful weather in gorgeous gardens. Tomorrow, back to the Huntington reading room, which is quite nice, too--all the nicer that the research is going well. Then, way too soon, back to Indiana fall weather and the-semester-as-usual. But I'll go back refreshed by this change of venue and by how much I've learned here. And when I need a spurt of courage, I'll remember the Huntington squirrels.)
Writing life tip of the day: Go to new places from time to time. And watch the squirrels.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Lions, Tigers, and Huntington Library Squirrels, Oh My...
I'm a writer, an incurable reader, a narrative theorist, a media researcher, a scholar/author/writer/consultant, a PK, and the Queen of Soup Making. I write a lot, and I've taught a wide range of topics in universities. Along my journey I've picked up a PhD in Communication from Purdue and 2 degrees in English. I've been turning my ideas about communication as author-audience relationships into a communication paradigm that can be applied to a wide range of situations. I'm also writing a historical mystery series. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of the Mystery and Detective Fiction Caucus of the Popular Culture Association. My MA thesis focused on connections between T. S. Eliot and Thoreau, who each wondered about how to remain still and still moving. Before I went to grad school, I spent 7 years working for a division of HarperCollins Publishers.